ROYAL GREENWICH OBSERVATORY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROYAL GREENWICH OBSERVATORY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Intensity colour-coded optical TV image of the M87 galaxy. M87 is an elliptical galaxy, part of the Virgo cluster, some 50 million light years from Earth. The 'jet' seen extending to the right is the result of synchrotron radiation (light emitted by fast-moving electrons in a magnetic field). As well as being bright in optical wavelengths, M87 is an intense radio source (Virgo A) and an X-ray source (Virgo X-1). This image was made using the 4.2-metre William Herschel optical telescope at the European Space Observatory near La Palma in the Canary Islands.
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